Houten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Houten family

The surname Houten was first found in the East Riding of Yorkshire at Howden, a small market town and civil parish. The town pre-dates the Norman Conquest, as the first record of the place was as Heafuddene in the year 959, when King Edgar of England granted his first wife, Ethelfleda, Howden Manor. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the parish was listed as Hovedene from the Old English heafod + denu and it literally meant "valley by the headland" or "spit of land." [1]

The Domesday Book lists the lands that were held at that time by the Bishop of Durham, and he conferred the church upon the monks of Durham. [2] He kept Howden Manor for himself. "This place, which is of considerable antiquity, was distinguished for its collegiate establishment, founded by Robert, Bishop of Durham, in 1266, for Secular clerks, and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Cuthbert." [3]

Roger of Hoveden or Howden (d. 1201?), was a chronicler, "probably a native of Howden, a possession of the see of Durham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and very possibly a brother of a William of Hoveden, who was chaplain of Hugh de Puiset, bishop of Durham." [4]

John de Houton (d. 1246), was an early English justice and was appointed Archdeacon of Bedford in 1216. "From this time forward he was frequently employed in a judicial capacity, and seems to have been high in the royal favour. As Archdeacon of Bedford he decided several cases in which the priory of Dunstable was concerned, especially two between the monks and burgesses of Dunstable in 1221 and 1228." [4]

Early History of the Houten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Houten research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1268, 1275, 1397, 1382, 1383, 1386, 1523 and 1530 are included under the topic Early Houten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Houten Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Houten occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Howden, Houden, Howdin, Howdon, Hawden, Hawdon and others.

Early Notables of the Houten family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was John of Howden ( fl. 1268-1275), also known as John of Hoveden, a 13th century English Franciscan friar. John of Howden, who was prebendary of the church of Howden in Yorkshire, is generally...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Houten migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Houten, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Houten Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joris Houten, who landed in New York in 1634 [5]
Houten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C P V Houten, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [5]
  • Eilko Van Houten, who landed in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • H Van Houten, who arrived in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • Ipe Van Houten, who landed in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • Jaantje Van Houten, who arrived in Iowa in 1849 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Houten (post 1700) +

  • Roeluf Van Houten, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Orange County, 1777-79 [6]
  • Richard Van Houten, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Passaic County, 1858-59 [6]
  • Margaret Van Houten (b. 1969), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 2004; Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit; Elected 2012 [6]
  • Lyle C. Van Houten, American Republican politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 16th District, 1998 [6]
  • Jake Van Houten, American politician, Supervisor of Paris Township, Michigan, 1943-53 [6]
  • Isaac B. Van Houten (1776-1850), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Legislature; U.S. Representative from New York 2nd District, 1833-35 [6]
  • Erskine B. Van Houten Jr., American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1956 [6]
  • Archibald Charles Van Houten (b. 1873), American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Nanaimo, 1918-32 [6]
  • Adrian R. Van Houten, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Passaic County, 1842 [6]


The Houten Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ferio, tego
Motto Translation: I strike, I cover.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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